Posts Tagged ‘poker’

Poker night

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013 | Distractions

At the start of the film Rounders, Matt Damon points out that you soon forget your big wins in poker, but your bad beats linger on in your memory forever.

That is true even when given a generous definition of bad beat, as realistically, it wasn’t even that bad. But as Norm had organised a poker night a few weeks ago, we found ourselves sitting round the table, cards in hand.

Chris was obviously going to win at this point – by the time the first two players had gone, he was so far ahead in chip count that there was almost no coming back (we would have probably needed three double ups in a row). So when it got down to the final three, paying the top two, it was between myself and James for second place, both short stacked.

Then a gift of a hand arrived. James shoved on a jack eight, while I was holding pocket kings. Better still, Chris called with an ace ten. Now all I needed was James not to win – if I won, that would obviously bag me second, but even if Chris won, I would place second as well, and there are no jacks or eights to be seen.

James’ only out is a ten to make is straight, and one of those is in Chris’s hand – it was all going so well. Until the river…

Full Tilt is back

Monday, October 15th, 2012 | Distractions

Last year, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission suspended and then revoked the gambling license of Full Tilt Poker, one of the biggest poker sites on the internet.

Since then everything has been quite, but earlier this month, Poker Stars (the biggest poker site on the internet) announced it had acquired Full Tilt and would be re-launching it in early November.

It’s going to be maintained as a separate product from and players will have access to their existing accounts and balances. This is good times as Full Tilt was my favourite site (especially for when you’re bored and want to play a bit of rush poker 😉 ).

The Adelphi

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 | Humanism, Life

Earlier this month, myself and George headed down to the Humanist Society of West Yorkshire social at The Adelphi for a few drinks.

James had a voucher for two meals and a bottle of wine – so we ended up having a rather romantic evening. Surprisingly as well, I found myself around the median age range – shocking for HSoWY! 😛

Having had to eat and drink at quite some speed in order to make it to Alea on time to register for the poker tournament, I was somewhat intoxicated by the time I left and ended up doing quite well – adding further evidence to the idea that I play better poker when I’m drunk.

Poker tales

Thursday, September 15th, 2011 | Distractions

I’ve been playing a lot of poker recently. And by a lot, I mean I’m pretty much at work, working for CWF, or in a casino. Luckily, Leeds isn’t exactly a high rolling town, so you can enter quite a lot of tournaments without it costing you much money.

The good news is that my poker is improving. Norm joined me for one of the Sunday tournaments at Alea, which had potential as many of the regulars were playing in the end of league winners’ freeroll instead.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get very far after my aces got cracked and then I shoved post-flop with an over pair, only to have Norm call me with nothing and hit two pair by the river to knock me out. I actually quite enjoyed the night though because for once, I was able to walk away from the casino without having to think “you would still be in that tournament if you hadn’t made that stupid mistake.”

This was less true of the tournament on the following Thursday at Alea where I Was getting great cards and quickly became chip leader and stayed that way for four hours – right until the two hands I went out on. Haven’t dominated the tournament I made some really bad calls looking for straights and it cost me what should have been an easy cash.

The day after at Grosvenor didn’t go any better. I made it through the rebuy period on my freeroll stack alone and despite being short stacked for three hours I made it to the final table – only to be the first person to go out. Bad times.

My squandered stack from Alea.


Sunday, August 28th, 2011 | Distractions

While I’ve enjoyed playing poker at Grosvenor recently, I think to learn the game I need to play against good opponents and a lot of the time at Grosvenor you have to play past a lot of bad players before you get to the real players.

As such, I decided to head down to Alea for a few tournaments. They don’t get the turn outs that Grosvenor do, but as I’m not playing for the money (well, obviously I am playing for the money, but I’m not expecting to win quite yet), it isn’t too much of a problem.

So far, it’s not gone so well, but I’ve learnt quite a bit. I figured it was probably worth blogging about my experiences so that anyone who is good at poker that reads my blog can point out when I’ve made silly mistakes.

The first tournament I entered I ended up going all in on a pair of pocket queens pre-flop, and two other players followed me in with pocket kings and pocket aces. Despite hitting trip queens on the flop, a king came out on the turn.

The second tournament I entered, I was sitting on pocket aces and with a flop of 3, 7 and 10, all off suite, I check-raised all in. Someone called with an ace, 10 and hit a third 10 on the turn.

Facebook Freeroll

Monday, August 22nd, 2011 | Distractions

Recently, myself and Norm headed up to the Grosvenor casino for their “Facebook Freeroll” tournament – a £500 guaranteed free roll that I figured was worth a punt. I managed to double up in the buy in period so didn’t need to re-buy, though I wasn’t impressed by the £2 for my coke, even if it was unlimited refills and a no registration fee evening.

I managed to keep going until 2am, at which point I still had 60,000 chips (with an average of 37,000), but I was so tired by this point I started making silly calls and was eventually knocked out after going all in on trip eights, which lost to a flush on the river. Could have been worse though, 21st out of 129 with no re-buy.

Live poker

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011 | Distractions

Yesterday, I blogged about Poker Stats Library, a couple of scripts I wrote which I’ve now published on Github. On Saturday, it was time to try them out.

I headed down to Grosvenor to take part in their freeroll tournament. I say freeroll, it was a £10 rebuy tournament, which gets you twice the number of chips, so almost everyone buys in again. As I sat down at the table I found myself sitting opposite a guy named Christopher Norfolk – while I’m aware of the laws of probability, it’s still an amusing coincidence.

I ended up placing 11th, out of the 79 that entered. I was doing quite well but having started at 2pm, I had arranged to meet Elina at 6pm and by this time it was 7pm, so I went all in on an ace high for boom or bust and lost. Still, an enjoyable evening none the less.

Poker Stats Library

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011 | Tech

A few weeks ago, I wrote some tools which would help me out in getting to grips with poker, which in general I fail at.

It annoyed me because it should be fairly simple for someone like myself to get my head around the poker maths (well, it is, pot odds are easy), so even despite the lack of social understanding the life of a computer scientist brings, I should at least be able to achieve a level of averageness in the game. I clearly have failed to do this, and so I decided a bit of work on my basic strategy was needed.

As a result, I built an interactive tool which would teach me what starting hands I should play, similar to the concept of Basic Strategy in blackjack. It presents you with two cards and you have to say what position you can play them from, if any. It will then tell you if you are correct or not, if not it will ask you to try again and if so, it will move on to the next hand.

I also wrote a tool which allows you to select the cards you have, and using the same formulas it will tell you what position that hand is worth playing from. I’ve thrown in a few other simple odds calculations in there as well.

Of course, these won’t make you a great poker play by themselves, but it should provide a good basis to learn from.

Given the tools would otherwise just disappear into the depths of my hard drive somewhere, I’ve decided to publish the code on Github. Should you have any interest, you can download the source from the Github repository. It’s all written in PHP and should run out of the box.

Btw, the images below are screenshots, but the way they have been scaled down looks rubbish. They make more sense when you open them…

Poker at Alea

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011 | Life

Last week, we headed down to Alea Casino for a poker night that had been organised by the analysis team.

Row One, aka myself and Jason where there to represent the office and I brought Norm along too. After the night we had, I think future tournaments might be restricted to analysts only though.

As part of an elaborate tactic, I went out first to make sure I wasn’t stealing chips off Jason and Norm. They then went on to place first and second, taking almost all of the prize money. Good times.


Friday, July 29th, 2011 | Friends, Life

It was a rather all-star turn out for our poker night last week with myself, Elina, Jonni, Kat, Norm, Casual Dave, Happy Matt and Jason all eventually turning up.

Nobody dressed up this week, which was a little disappointing, but never the less it was a good night with Jason and Happy Matt eventually walking away with the prize, after just managing to knock out Kat the Card Shark.